Around August of last year, Australian privateer Hayden Mellross made the decision that he would race in America in 2015. Despite early injuries—Mellross broke his leg twice and missed all of Monster Energy Supercross—the decision has paid dividends, as Mellross secured a deal with 51Fifty Energy Drink Yamaha today for the 2016 250SX West Region.
"His natural skill, blazing corner speed and work ethic are a strong foundation for success in 2016," team manger Craig Monty said in a statement. "I watched his races in 2015, how he handles himself as a professional and am confident he has the skill sets to be an elite rider."
Mellross, who has never competed in Monster Energy Supercross, finished twentieth in his first season of Lucas Oil Pro Motocross last summer.
"I'm really excited to get this year underway," Mellross said in a statement. "I've seen the team build a solid foundation since they started only a few years ago; we've had productive testing days, the YZ is really fast, I've felt strong. I was fortunate to be part of great teams in Australia but now for the first time stateside, I'm able to simply focus on training, practicing, testing and racing. I'm confident with the team and Yamaha support I can be inside the Top 10, and once I get a taste of racing up front, be inside the Top 5."
Mellross will continue his relationship with Tim Ferry, who served as his trainer and riding coach last year.